I need a bit of guidance and help in my quest for The Good PC.
I've recently changed my case to an Antec 1200 from a CM HAF 912 to accomodate 1) a Crossfire setup with two HD 5870s and 2) a CPU cooler. I assumed since the 1200 is what can only be described as enormous, I would have no problems even fitting a nice Thermalright 120 Xtreme cooler onto my i7 950. Well, I forgot to take two things into account:
1) my huge Corsair Dominator RAM sticks (and six of them while at it), and
2) the side panel fan, which really, really would be nice for the rather warm Crossfire combo.
Now, I am not sure I did make a good choice with the Thermalright cooler. Temperatures are, to my surprise, not much lower than with the stock cooler (around 20 degrees above ambient on idle). This could of cours have to do with a dodgy installation by me, and quite frankly, the screws and the fastening were not brilliant. Also, to fit it onto the Asus Sabertooth X58, I mounted it vertically. Which of course conflicted with the side panel fan.
So my questions are:
1) Are there heatsinks available that leave more room beneath them for the RAM sticks than the Thermalright, and are easier to actually, well, fasten and mount horizontally?
2) If not, what other options would I have that could get some much needed air cooling onto my poor HD 5870 babies?
Any suggestions about how to tell when the cooler is actually fastened tight enough? The whole spring-loaded screws thing makes it hard to tell.
Tighten the screws carefully paying attention to the number of rotations.
Do this by going from one screw to the next in a criss-cross pattern.
one full rotation go to next screw and so forth.
This will apply the proper tension and optimal pressure.
You can also visually eye up each screw/spring and see if they appear to be equal height.
You'll be able to tell by actually grasping the cooler and checking if it's suitably anchored.
Just don't overtighten and you'll be fine.
Priced to compete with high-end air coolers, the Kühler offers similar performance and a lower noise level. [The Kuhler 620] is the first compact liquid cooler I've tested that can honestly be considered as competition for the likes of the Cooler Master V6 GT, Prolimatech Megahalems, and Thermalright Venomous X.
With the same fan, the Kuhler beats the Corsair H70 by 6C
The first with the Thermalright cooler. It gives okay, but not superb cpu temperatures. I think it may be because the whole fastening/mounting process is rather tricky, and I can't stress this enough - the temperatures are most likely due to user errors (me). It could also be because it blocks a bit of airflow and that the fan was mounted the wrong way.
The Crossfire setup heats up and sounds like Heathrow Airport after half an hour of GTA: The Lost & The Damned. Thankfully, it adds ambience to the motorcycle sounds, right? The bottom card stays ok, but the top card goes nuts.
Then I thought I'd buy a cheap cooler with a smaller heatsink and try.
The Arctic Freezer Pro 7 rev 2 isn't terribly expensive. It costs about the same as an older game on Steam.
It can cool 130 watts, which suits the i7 950. Temperatures aren't fantastic, but ok. The highest I have seen so far is high 60s.
There's no room for OC'ing with these temps, though.
But the side fan can be used, and it really shows. GPU temps have dropped around 15-20 degrees on load and there is just a busy street rather than an airport, sound-wise.
I am going to stick with the latter setup for the time being.